Copied below is the text from a letter sent to all of our members last week. We were originally to hold an EGM in the Bridge House Hotel in Tullamore on the 19th of February. Due to unprecedented interest from other aviation organisations we have decided not to hold it as an EGM but to open this meeting to all interested parties.
All the best
4 February 2010
For the past 15 years the NMAI has tirelessly campaigned for reasonable regulations for microlight licencing in this country. In the past 12 months we have supplied accident statistics and licencing requirements from all over the EU to the IAA to help produce a safety case to support this reasonable regulation.
Despite this investigation being successful, with the IAA informing us that their safety analysis clearly shows that the UK system is “No less safe than the Irish one”, we have discovered that the requirements to convert your UK NPPL M have been made more restrictive before Christmas without any consultation or safety investigation being done.
A safety recommendation was published by AAIU following an accident to a Pegasus Q which stated that the IAA should work with the NMAI to develop regulations for microlight licencing . Despite multiple requests, the IAA have only met us twice within the past 13 months.
Article 16 in the Mc Gregor Executive Summary, an independent audit of the IAA, commissioned by the IAA, recommends that any aviation activity not covered by EASA should be regulated no heavier than our nearest neighbour the UK CAA.
At a recent meeting in Aviation House, we were promised some improvements which would not come close to addressing our current situation, which was caused by the IAA in the first place, but which we considered to be a start. We subsequently found that, while we were discussing improvements to the current regulation, that someone in Personnel Licencing had changed the rules to make it even more restrictive.This was done without the knowledge of the manager of personnel licencing, the manager for general aviation standards or the assistant director of personnel licencing with whom we were meeting.
We now find ourselves, having conclusively proven our case based on safety statistics and, with the support of the above recommendations, with nowhere left to go and no avenue left to explore.
Personnel Licencing in the IAA are still choosing to ignore all the evidence to support reasonable regulation. The IAA insists that we have higher regulation than any other EU State and without any reasons being offered.
The manner in which we are treated by individuals within Personnel Licencing is also a huge area of concern.
We have lately received a number of complaints from members about the manner in which they have been treated by the IAA. These complaints include paperwork being lost, correspondence being ignored, inconsistent answers to questions asked, requirements for validating and converting licences being varied with no explanation etc etc.
For example we are so far aware of 4 incidents of the IAA “not having received paperwork” but the attached cheques being cashed.
If any member has had a similar experience it will be of great use to the NMAI if you could let us know about it.
What has surprised us the most is that these problems are shared by every other aviation organisation in the country. In a lot of cases the cause of the problems appears to be easily identifiable.
If any members have good contacts in the press or in public office these may also help greatly.
We need your support to determine NMAI policies regarding future dealings with Personnel Licencing in the IAA. To this end it is essential that you attend the meeting to be held in the Bridge House Tullamore on Friday 19th of February 2010 at 8 PM where a comprehensive report on the current situation will be aired.
Anyone paying membership on the night will have their membership valid until May 2011 and lapsed members if they wish also have the option of paying 15 euros for renewal till May 2010.
See you there
All the best